The Light Above Cities

The following poem, written by Jay Leeming and found in his book Dynamite on a China Plate: Poems, is stolen from Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac public radio broadcast. Hat tip to Jeffrey Overstreet.

The Light Above Cities

Sitting in darkness,
I see how the light of the city
fills the clouds, rosewater light
poured into the sky
like the single body we are. It is the sum
of a million lives; a man drinking beer
beneath a light bulb, a dancer spinning
in a fluorescent room, a girl reading a book
beneath a lamp.

Yet there are others — astronomers,
thieves, lovers — whose work is only done
in darkness. Sometimes
I don’t want to show these poems
to anyone, sometimes
I want to remain hidden, deep in the coals
with the one who pulls the stars
through a telescope’s glass, the one who listens
for the click of the lock, the one
who kisses softly a woman’s eyes.

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